GT Avalanche 29er or Trek Marlin 6 or 7?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    GT Avalanche 29er or Trek Marlin 6 or 7?

    Hi- I'm about to buy one of these bikes. I know they aren't anywhere close to high end, but looking for something to get started on and wanted opinions on which would be a great starter mtb. Any advice is much appreciated! I'm reading about the differences of the models but it doesn't yet make much sense to me as I'm new to the sport. The GT Avalanche 29er is on sale at Dick's for $499 and the Trek Marlin 6 or 7 model would be from the Trek dealer. Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
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    Links to the bikes would help btw.

    At that price range, you will get similar components, the brand doesn't matter that much. So fit and the prettiest to get you going. Don't forget helmet and hydration.
    Surly Krampus
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  3. #3
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    Marlin 7 is likely the nicest of the lot. Spend as much as you can afford. It'll be that much more pleasureable on the trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkster View Post
    Hi- I'm about to buy one of these bikes. I know they aren't anywhere close to high end, but looking for something to get started on and wanted opinions on which would be a great starter mtb. Any advice is much appreciated! I'm reading about the differences of the models but it doesn't yet make much sense to me as I'm new to the sport. The GT Avalanche 29er is on sale at Dick's for $499 and the Trek Marlin 6 or 7 model would be from the Trek dealer. Thanks for your help!
    I forgot to put in links:

    https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p...vlnch29nrxxprf

    https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...lin-6/p/23121/

    https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...lorCode=orange

  5. #5
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    If it's my money, I'd choose a bike shop over a sports discounter no offense to Dick's. Starting with an LBS even at (or especially at) entry bike and price level is a good plan. Their expertise on allthingsbike will be beneficial and your future bike plans or needs should build a good relationship.
    Last edited by bachman1961; 2 Weeks Ago at 07:08 AM.
    bachman must spread some Reputation around before giving it to himself again.


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bachman1961 View Post
    If it's my money, I'd choose a bike shop over a sports discounter no offense to Dick's. Starting with an LBS even at (or especially at) entry bike and price level is a good plan. Their expertise on allthingsbike will be beneficial and your future bike plans or needs should build a good relationship.
    This... If you are looking to get into the sport then start building a relationship with the shop. This way you can have them show you basic maintenance items, troubleshooting and whatnot as you start out and get more comfortable. I have a good relationship with my shop and they offer me their "10% team riders" discount even though I am not on a team or do a whole lot of purchasing from them. I take my bike in for a good "tune-up" once a year from them even though I have the tools, time and skill to do it. Then I usually buy things like helmets, gloves tubes, etc. from them as well. Maybe a once every couple months stop to see if anything catches my fancy or if I have a question about something in particular.

    Once you start building that relationship, many times they will offer you certain things at discount or even push you to the top of the list when you need something soon. On top of this, these are knowledgeable people who usually ride like you do, you may get lucky with somewhere like Dick's but that is highly unlikely.

    Out of the three you selected the Marlin 7 and the GT are closest to one another. Both offer plenty of room for parts upgrades down the road. But one major question, what is the budget (or max budget) you are looking to spend right now? Reason for asking is that remember things like riding specific clothes (if nothing else just chamois), helmet, gloves, etc. will need to be purchased along with this if you do not already have those items. These will add on to your initial budget so be sure you are accounting for those items. And YES YOU NEED A HELMET!!! Been asked that by "new" riders way too many times.

    https://youtu.be/K882pvG395w

  7. #7
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    Great advice Greg and Bachman! I was trying to keep my starter bike under $1000 and see where it goes. The Marline 7 and GT just seemed like the perfect setups for me to start with. You both made great points about establishing a relationship with the local bike shop. It makes complete sense.

  8. #8
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    Next thing to do is go and demo some bikes. Looking at numbers for geos will only give you an idea of the bike and build. You make completely like the build and numbers on a bike and then throw a leg over it and think WTF?? And hate the bike.

    Go watch some of the videos on YouTube about the Best Hardtail of the Year to get an idea of some of the bikes out there in your price range.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Next thing to do is go and demo some bikes. Looking at numbers for geos will only give you an idea of the bike and build. You make completely like the build and numbers on a bike and then throw a leg over it and think WTF?? And hate the bike.

    Go watch some of the videos on YouTube about the Best Hardtail of the Year to get an idea of some of the bikes out there in your price range.
    This^^^
    I've watched new bikes hit the market that I've drooled over only to ride them and think "meh". Gotta ride them and let the right bike pick you.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xlr8n View Post
    This^^^
    I've watched new bikes hit the market that I've drooled over only to ride them and think "meh". Gotta ride them and let the right bike pick you.
    RIGHT!! Did this last year when I was really looking at bikes to purchase this year. Was dead set on the Pivot Trail 429. Normally I am between a medium and large size bike. Got to a demo day and they put me on an X-Large (even looking at their site said I should be a Large) and it fit just about perfectly. Everyone always talks about how awesome the DW Link suspensions are and that they are the baseline to compare all suspensions against. When I rode the bike on my normal, everyday trail loops (literally did my normal loops) I was completely underwhelmed by the bike, easily found its threshold for being overwhelmed by certain terrain and that was on their HIGH Dollar build with all XTR, Carbon everything and FOX everything build.

    Turns out that the boutique company from Colorado (Guerrilla Gravity) was much more my style and ride I was looking for. And the build I wanted ended up coming in much MUCH cheaper. Anyways, take your time finding the right bike for ya. Most anything new will be upgradeable so if your budget is limited don't worry so much about the components.

    For component spec, personally I would focus on the drivetrain and fork first, try and get something that is at least 10spd as you can easily upgrade that to 1x10. Forks are something that pretty much everything is tapered steerer these days and thru-axle. If it ends up being a QR axle for the front, see if the front wheels hub can be converted to thru-axle (this will save you some time and money down the road).

    Like everyone says, buy the best bike you can for your MAXIMUM budget. This way you are not nickel and diming yourself down the road.

  11. #11
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    Awesome advice Greg! Thanks for taking the time to really explain things. Congrats on your Guerrilla Gravity!

  12. #12
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    Great point. That's happened to me before. I thought I found the truck I wanted and when I finally drove it, I was underwhelmed.

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